Real Wedding – George and Layla, Collingwood VIC
Real Wedding – George and Layla, Collingwood VIC
Real Wedding – George and Layla, Collingwood VIC
Real Wedding – George and Layla, Collingwood VIC

Real Wedding – George and Layla, Collingwood VIC

Layla and George’s stunning soiree was an encapsulation of them and the story of their relationship. Making time to capture photographs across inner Melbourne locations that were backdrops to the milestone moments they shared together makes for a visual storyboard that paints an incredibly romantic, personal piece.

To allow their vision to unfold with as little stress as possible, Layla and George assembled a team around them based purely on aesthetic alignment, talent and the vibe they shared. As Layla puts it, if they didn’t feel it, they weren’t the vendor for them. We absolutely agree with this ethos, and the results speak for themselves: a day filled with elegant, effortless style and underpinned by layers of subtle personal homage.

A monochromatic palette allowed our incredibly talented friends at Anatomy of Florals to curate cloud like collections of textural magic, white-on-white amorphous arrangements punctuated with soft vanilla roses in a modern twist on timeless blooms. There to ensure the overall aesthetic and practical planning coalesced to perfection in a seamless event was the planning and styling team from The Goodsmiths.

For Layla, finding her stunning Hera Couture gown at the beautiful Bluebell Bridal was more than fortuitous – not only did she feel fabulous at every fitting, she absolutely glowed on her dream day.

There to frame every impactful moment to perfection was Art of Grace photography. Scroll on to enjoy it all.



The meeting.

George: Layla and I both worked at Melbourne Central about twelve years ago. I kept seeing her around the centre and at the train station and had no idea who this beautiful woman was. This continued for about six months; we kept seeing each other and exchanging flirtatious smiles. Whilst we were both on the train home one day, I finally mustered up the courage to say hello. That Friday I saw her at work and asked her if she was free for a drink after work. We agreed that I’d come down to her work and knock on the window for her to give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down to go for a drink. She gave me a thumbs up, and the rest is history.


The ‘one’.

Layla: I knew George was ‘the one’ during our first visit to the NGV together. He was walking into the Salon for the very first time, which has floor-to-ceiling covered walls of art with elaborate gold frames. I had always loved this room. As he entered, I watched George’s face light up as he saw this room for the first time. In observing his wonder and amazement, I knew at that moment he was the one.

George: I knew before Layla did.


The proposal.

Layla: We designed my engagement ring together, and it was all so unexpectedly romantic. My engagement ring is such a symbol of the two of us together. George and our jeweller plotted against me, telling me the ring wasn’t ready so George could sneakily pick it up without me knowing.

George proposed at home, on one knee, with a declaration of love, with our favourite pizza, while I was in my pyjamas. I think George and I both blacked out with nerves and excitement, but I remember that our previous cat, Hank, was rattling around his food in the background. It was unexpected, casual and perfect. We then drank a giant bottle of vintage champagne that we’d been carting around for years.

I had always wanted to propose to George, as he had been so patient in waiting for me to be ready to get married. He knew before me. The following weekend, I made him a giant stack of his favourite pancakes, dressed our cat up in a silly little tuxedo and proposed back to him, on one knee, with a gift of vintage Lego.


Style inspiration.

Layla: We both wanted something chic, timeless and primarily monochrome. Our inspiration came from our previous lives working in fashion and our love of great food and wine. We honed in on it being “our day” and the reception being “a love letter back to our family and friends”. These became reference points for us as we made our many decisions. 

For all our vendors, we choose them due to having aligned aesthetics and/or based on our personal interactions with them. It was a big vibe check – if we didn’t want to be around them or have them there on our wedding day, then they were not the vendor for us! 


Planning process.

Layla: We created mood boards on Pinterest of both styled and real weddings and we focused on the feeling of the day to set the mood. Some of our most referenced images were people passing and sharing plates of food in a banquet setting and editorial bridal portraits that were candid and in motion. We also read lots of vendor reviews and trawled through wedding blogs and Instagram pages. These were great in helping shape our style as a couple and work out what our priorities were: each other, the food and a party.


The ceremony.

Layla: I absolutely did not predict how special this part would be! We were so united and fixated on each other in such a love bubble. Our vows even accidentally mirrored each other. My dad also facilitated part of our ceremony, introducing and adding a nod to our Jewish heritage into our day. 


The outfits.

George: Even before we were engaged, I always knew that my very close friends, who owned Melbourne-based brand Clemente Talarico, would be involved in designing and curating my outfit for the day. Having a background in men’s suiting, I knew I didn’t want anything off the rack or in typical colours. I wanted something classic but different. After a few weekends with Paul at Perry Valente to get fitted, rifle through a mountain of fabric books, and galavant through the city to gather the final pieces, I ended up with a classic single-button suit with wide peak lapel in a dark teal. I chose a matching dark teal custom Zenga tie, Tom Ford pocket square and Church’s double monk strap shoes.

Layla: This felt like such a journey for me, starting off in non-bridal-specific boutiques before trying so many different shapes and styles in bridal stores. I did my dress shopping either alone, with a trusted friend or my maid of honour (also a sister-in-law), as I didn’t want too much influence from other opinions. I found I slowly learned to get comfortable taking up space in a bigger gown and to be a focal point of attention. I also learnt that my bridal style was completely different to my usual style, which is more minimalist and tailored. Despite this, I was very decisive and clearly knew when a dress wasn’t right. 

I found my incredible Hera Couture gown whilst shopping with my maid of honour. We both knew it was the perfect dress, as I didn’t want to take it off and kept coming back to it, even after trying on other gowns. Every time throughout the selection and alternations process, I felt stunning in my dress every time I had it on, even when I had no make-up on, my hair was not done, or it was after a long day at work. There was not a moment of second-guessing my choice after making my decision.

My shoes were an easy and on-trend choice, the Amina Muaddi Begum slingback pumps. I knew I wanted a comfortable heel and these were a perfect choice, including lasting through Greek dancing, dancing on chairs and all the way to our after party. 


Favourite moments.

George: Seeing Layla for the first time at our first look at our incredible friends’ restaurant, SUD Ristorante Italiano. This is where I took Layla on our first official date- we even took photos in the very same booth. 

Layla: Our portraits before and after the ceremony – literally running around the NGV, 333 Collins and Collingwood streets, laughing, dancing and being so excited about the whole day. 

Also, making sure we got to eat the gruyere gratin by our caterers, Fouside Events. We had been dreaming of this gratin ever since our first tasting in 2021. 


Meaning of marriage.

This changed over time for both of us, especially over so many years of being together. It became a symbol of us choosing each other every single day. 


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: An acoustic version of Ellie Goulding, Love Me Like You Do sung by Emile Battour

Reception entry: Sigala, Bryn Christopher- Sweet Lovin’

No first dance for us – we wanted to avoid some of these more typical traditions.


Funny stories or near disasters.

George: In answer to both, TLDR: I got locked on the balcony on the morning of our wedding. 

After having breakfast with my family at a local cafe, I found myself alone at home whilst everyone else was running errands. After about 30 minutes of being on our balcony, I thought it was time to start getting ready, prior to my close friend arriving in his ’66 Mustang to take me to the first look. As I went to open the door, I quickly realised that the door was locked. Unbeknownst to me, my best man (brother-in-law) had locked the door. I frantically started messaging our neighbours in our apartment building to see if someone was home that could set me free. While I was waiting for anyone to respond, I started looking around to figure out how I could possibly climb down from our second-story balcony and get back into the building. Finally, I got a response from one of our neighbours and told them where our spare key was hidden. They came into the apartment and spent a good five minutes laughing at me and saying, “On all days, your wedding day”. They finally unlocked the balcony door, I had a MASSIVE sigh of relief and finally started getting ready. I didn’t go out on the balcony again that day.


Planning suprises.

George: The initial flower quote!

Layla: How much we enjoyed planning it! So many people we knew told us horror stories of arguments, difficult vendors and blowing budgets; however, this was not our experience. We felt very lucky and grateful to have been in our planner, Callin’s, hands throughout our entire planning process.


Words of wisdom.

Layla: Don’t think you can’t afford or don’t need a planner (even if you are a type A person like me). Look into this option. Callin from The Goodsmiths was our wedding MVP, worth every cent and was essential to our day, even sending me off from the bridal suit to head down the aisle. 

George: Collaborate in planning your wedding; it’s both of your days.



Want to ensure you have a similarly seamless and fun-filled bridal gown experience as Layla? Our friends at Bluebell Bridal not only have an impeccably tasteful range of gowns, they have created a haven at which brides to be can relax and truly enjoy their experience.




Ceremony & reception venue: Chapel 1885 

Celebrant: Jess Stanley, Stan By Me Ceremonies 

Photography: Art of Grace 

Styling: The Goodsmiths 

Planner: Callin from The Goodsmiths

On the Day Coordinator: Jenna from The Goodsmiths

Florist: Anatomy of Flowers 

Hair: Hannah Young, Miss Jaye Salon 

Make-up: Suzana Sela 

The dress: Le Belle V2, Hera Couture from Bluebell Bridal 

Veil: Chapel Length Tulle Wedding Veil in ivory from Little White Couture 

Bride’s shoes: Begum Slingback Pumps from Amina Muaddi  

Rings: William Édouard + Larsen 

Suit: Perry Valente

Tie: Zenga 

Pocket square: Tom Ford

Groom’s shoes: Church’s

Catering: Fourside Events 

Bar: Fourside Events  + SUD Ristorante Italiano 

Favours: Gifted by our Best Man + Maid of Honour

Cake: Neapolitan-inspired cake by our dear friend, Bakes By A 

Stationery / Signage: Printed via Vista Print + MBE Elsternwick, designed by our fabulous friend, Anthony Colantuono

Entertainment: DJ Dan, Spinning Disc Entertainment 

Transport: Star Chauffeurs

Décor: Nudo 

First look: SUD Ristorante Italiano 

Portrait locations: NGV + 333 Collins 

Bridal Airbnb: Marriott on Smith

Honeymoon: Palm Cove, Queensland + Tokyo, Japan

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